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John Keller is a professor of instructional systems and educational psychology at Florida State University, and has been since 1985. His main area of expertise is in the motivational design of learning environments. He created a theory called the ARCS Model for Motivational Design that lists and describes 4 steps for facilitating and perpetuating motivation in learners:
  1. Attention - Sparking and maintaing interest and curiosity in learners.
    1. Perceptual arousal
      1. Uses surprise or uncertainty to gain interest.
      2. What can I do to capture their interest?
    2. Inquiry arousal
      1. Stimulates curiosity by posing challenging questions or problems to be solved
      2. How can I stimulate an attitude of inquiry?
    3. Variability
      1. How can I maintain their attention?
  2. Relevance - Showing how the information is relevant to the learners both now and in the future.
    1. Goal orientation - How can I best meet my learner's needs?
    2. Motive matching - How and when can I provide my learners with appropriate choice, responsibilities, and influences?
    3. Familiarity - How can I tie the instruction to the learners' experiences?
  3. Confidence - Ensuring that learners feel confident in their ability to complete the tasks. Not too easy, but not too hard.
    1. Learning requirements - How can I assist in building a positive expectation for success?
    2. Success opportunities - How will the learning experience support or enhance the students' beliefs in their competence?
    3. Personal control - How will the learners clearly know their success is based upon their efforts and abilities?
  4. Satisfaction - After completion, learners must feel a sense of satisfaction in their accomplishments. This can come through either extrinsic or intrinsic rewards, but this satisfaction provides motivation for continued learning.
    1. Natural consequences - How can I provide meaningful opportunities for learners to use their newly acquired knowledge/skill?
    2. Positive consequences - What will provide reinforcement to the learners' successes?
      1. Provide feedback and reinforcement that will sustain the desired behavior
      2. Don't over reward easy tasks, rewards should be in proportion to accomplishment

    3. Equity - How can I assist the students in anchoring a positive feeling about their accomplishments?

Important works:
Motivational Design for Learning and Performance: The ARCS Model Approach (2010)

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